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Halladay ranked No. 1

Elias tabs pitcher; Ramirez is second

Toronto pitcher Roy Halladay was the top player in baseball this year, according to the annual statistical rankings released yesterday by the Elias Sports Bureau, with Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez coming in second.

Halladay, 22-7 with a 3.25 ERA, received a 98.476 rating on a scale of 100. Ramirez was second at 98.293, down from last year, when he became just the fifth player with a perfect score. Los Angeles reliever Eric Gagne was third at 97.347.

Halladay took over as the top AL starting pitcher from Oakland's Barry Zito, who dropped to second at 95.020.

Ramirez was among the top three AL outfielders for the seventh time in eight seasons -- he led designated hitters last year.

Among AL relievers, Chicago's Keith Foulke (91.464) was first, Boston's Byung Hyun Kim (89.828) second, and the Yankees' Mariano Rivera (88.871) third.

The rankings, which are based on statistics over two years, are used to decide whether players are Type A, B or C free agents, and what draft picks their former teams get as compensation if they sign elsewhere.

Maddux moving on?

Four-time Cy Young Award winner Greg Maddux filed for free agency, perhaps signaling the end of his 11-year stint with the Atlanta Braves. This season, Maddux went 16-11 with a 3.96 ERA, becoming the first pitcher in baseball history to win at least 15 games in 16 consecutive seasons. The Braves aren't expected to make a big pitch to keep the righthander . . . Others to file for free agency included Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Brian Jordan, pitcher Shane Reynolds of Houston, Rick Reed of Minnesota, and Kevin Millwood of Philadelphia, Kansas City catcher Brent Mayne, Anaheim first baseman Scott Spiezio . . . Pitcher David Wells filed provisionally for free agency, deciding not to wait for the New York Yankees' decision on his 2004 option. . . . San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds won his record 11th Silver Slugger award, given to the top offensive players in each league. Boston's Ramirez won for the sixth time, and Bill Mueller the first.

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